Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here I Go Again

Lately, and by lately, I mean since October of 2007, I've been in a total rut and haven't been able to write anything.  Nothing. The most I can force myself to eke out are hastily scrawled notes and passing thoughts, committed to the pages of a small journal my girlfriend Kate bought me.  The problem is that none of these ideas ever amount to anything.  Every creative impulse I've had for the last year has been random, fruitless, and ultimately, really frustrating! 

For example, this summer there was the aborted comic book script I was working on with my friend/co-worked and artistic peer, Ben Bates. A project which has been in creative limbo ever since I made the mistake of reading what I'd written for the first issue, and quickly decided that what I'd wrote was unequivocally awful, and either needed to be rewritten or buried entirely and expunged from memory. There were other reasons why I've been putting off work on that collaboration, but it's not really pertinent to say why at this point. Either way, it's become clear to me that two things need to change if I'm ever going to get off my ass and write something of substance: 1) I have to get into the habit of writing, if not daily, then weekly, and; 2) I need a forum to empty my head of all the random, trivial ideas I might have, so that once I decide to write something more substantial, I'll have both the practice and focus to achieve that undertaking with a discipline and clarity of thought that I just don't possess right now. 

It might just be that I'm beating around the bush by making excuses for not writing more creative and ambitious pieces, but I can't help but feel like it's time to start writing a blog again. If for nothing more than to get a feel for writing again. There are going to be some changes made to this page. For starters, the name has got to go (maybe), and this is definitely not going to be a music blog. Although, I'm sure eventually something is going to be reviewed on this blog, but for now, this page will simply be whatever it is I want it to be.  When the moment strikes.


Here I go again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nailing the Coffin Shut.

Well boils and ghouls, it's been a long time coming, but I'm afraid tonight is the night I make it official: Heavy Vibes is no more.  Not that it's important to know, but the past year has seen some major changes in my life, changes that have taken their time, and their toll.  

In October, I made it official that I was moving out west, to Victoria, B.C. on Vancouver Island.  I fully intended to keep the blog going once I'd become fully adjusted to the city, work, living with my girlfriend, etc.  However, circumstance decided that I wasn't going to be getting too comfortable in Victoria after all.  Not that you need to know, but on Dec. 24th, 2007 (that's Christmas Eve, for you non-believers like myself out there), my long-time ladyfriend and I decided to cut our losses and call it quits.  It was later on that evening that I was struck with the sudden realization that I had been away from home for far too long, and it was time to move back to the "pile of bones," Queen City of central Canada, Regina, Saskatchewan. 

I will continue to write online, but not as the author of this blog.  My intention is to regularly update a new, as-of-yet-untitled blog, with the focus placed on events, concerts, exhibits, happenings, controversies, culture, and other local goings on.  I have no idea what the title, or the exact content of the site will be, but I'll be sure to post a link to it after the first post is made.  One thing you can be sure of is that I'll no longer be posting album reviews, or accepting submissions for review, with the sole exception being local artists (ie: Regina, Saskatoon, and surrounding area).

I'd like to take this time now to thank everyone who has supported this blog, and contributed to it's growth: Naben Ruthnum (my first fan!), Rubber (() Cement (greatest interview specimen ever!), Jacob Felix Heule, M.P. Lockwood, Outer Space Gamelan (the site that inspired me to do this in the first place), Smooth Assailing, Curor Recordings, Teenage Whore Tapes, Resipiscent Records, Tom Smith (of T.L.A.S.I.L.A.), Olwen Cowan, Mona Struthers, Robert Coslett, and last but not least, Ms. Lila Zais.  


-C. L. H.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fantastic Magic, "Witch Choir" & Thousands, "Skinless//Boneless"

I was recently sent something like 9 tapes from the mondo generous head of Abandon Ship Records, and since then my face hasn't quit melting into drippy little flesh puddles. Unfortunately, as some of you know, I got about 30 other tapes and cds all at the same time, so I've been struggling to play catch up, and will continue to do so well into next month. That said, I need to write something about this cavalcade of cassette tapes that have wound up in my possession, and so, for the next few weeks you can look forward to further installments of my Abandon Ship Records mini-reviews. In this week's update: Fantastic Magic's "Witch Choir", and Thousands' "Skinless//Boneless".

Fantastic Magic, "Witch Choir" C25

Described by the label as "a magical trip on a pegasus through a field of LSD" and "three young wizards journey through the island forest," Fantastic Magic's "Witch Choir" is a twenty-five minute cassette spun odyssey, glimsping all-too-briefly into a brilliant world of acoustic neo-psychedelia, free-noise skree, jazz interludes, gamelan & jugband percussion, and warped ethereal folk-singing. Did I say ethereal? Huffing this stuff is heavenly! Neither of "Witch Choir"'s sides are marked, so I've got no idea which is A or B, and that's a shame because there are some really enjoyable tunes on this tape, each full of their own magic moments. Likewise, there is no mention made of the people involved in Fantastic Magic, which is also too bad, though I assume they're probably associated with other Abandon Ship Records-related bands, maybe some members of Thousands or at least (VxPxC). In any case, my thanks go out to those anonymous 'three young wizards', because when my ears prick up to listen "Witch Choir" makes my head light as a feather. Highly Recommended!

Thousands, "Skinless//Boneless" C60
Abandon Ship Records, 2007

Thousands are an East L.A. based collective of free-improvising freaks whose mandate is melt your face and grind your body into a formless pulp. Featuring members of (VxPxC), Fantastic Ego, and countless other groups, Thousands have a few releases circulating out there, but this is there first for Abandon Ship. And what a first it is! "Skinless//Boneless" is another A-class cassette of soul-elevating//crushing neo-psychdelia from the crew at Abandon Ship Records. As if the title of the tape wasn't a dead give away, the cassette has a Skinless side and a Boneless side. The Boneless side is a formless free-jam monstrosity, and the Skinless side is a long ego-disolving dronescape. On their Myspace page, Thousands align themselves in the Double Leopards/Skaters camp of modern mind-melting psychedelia, and while that's more than cool with me, it should be pointed out that where Double Leopards and The Skaters make a point of obscuring exactly what instruments make what sound (or mimicking the sound of one instrument with another), Thousands utilize a more conventional sense of talented musicality. In other words, I clearly hear a bass, guitar, percussion, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, I just thought it would be worth noting these while Thousands can drone, they can also really play their instruments. If you've got any ears left, this one's a keeper.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nero's Day at Disneyland, "Colonists" 3" cd (EMR Records, 2007)

Nero's Day At Disneyland, Colonists 3" cd
EMR Records, 2007

To get this started, let me say that I'm pretty removed from this current Captain Ahab-led Ravesploitation thing. Not that I have anything against it, but as I never had a raver phase, or, was never really interested in any aspect of rave culture beyond its associations with Digital Hardcore, Industrial, and Ambient music, I can't really appreciate much of the somewhat sub-ironic re-interest in "nu" rave. That said, any new artist who can give Venetian Snares a hyper-speed musical run for his money has got my immediate attention, and that artist is Nero's Day At Disneyland.

Now, if I've got your attention: here's where you may be disappointed (or, where you and I differ in opinion). When I say that Nero's Day At Disneyland is growing steadily on-par with the nigh-inimitable work of Venetian Snares, I mean that in the sense of Aaron Funk's current work. That means: Pink & Green, the Hospitality E.P., and Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms, not his earlier, harder, or more esoteric works like Songs About My Cats, Winter In the Belly of a Snake, or Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole. Sorry if it seems like this review is turning into a Nero's Day At Disneyland sounds just like (insert artist here) name-drop session, but it's been my opinion for a while that Venetian Snares has been light-years ahead of the competition for half a decade, and I'm very excited to see someone come out of the underground who may usurp his crooked crown.

So, what are the signatures of his sound? What differentiates our hero Nero from the ever-prolific Funk? Brevity, for one. There are eight tracks on the 3" Colonists cd-r, and, with the exception of album's closing track, "Shamu Wraith", few of them are more than two minutes in length, causing the cd to blur past in a attention-deficit stream of orchestral swelling and sweeps, mangled blasts of circuit-bent gabber beats, and cut-up noise collage. At this rate, Nero's Day at Disneyland manages to jam more ideas into a single song than virtually any beat-oriented group I could compare him to, and that includes Venetian Snares. Not only does the Colonists cd tort the cohesion and studio fine-tuning that typically would accompany a longer or more official full-length release, it announces that there's a new kid on the block: and he's the kind that lives to start fires.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pigs In the Ground, "Tropical Delirium" C-30, (Aural Secretions, 2007)

Pigs In the Ground, Tropical Delirium C-30
Aural Secretions, 2007

At this present date, the obsessively dark, violent, and associated doom and gloom aspects of industrial and noise music have by now far exceeded and exhausted their use as thematic motifs and "inspirations," and have now dropped in the ironic abyss of self-parody. Of course, this might have (and probably has) been said before, probably many years ago, before I'd even had my first bewildering taste of noise, but I think at this point it's fair to say that while there is no subject unworthy of artistic inquiry, it's time to stop flogging that dead horse which some refer to reverently as KVLT. It has begun to stink.

Pigs In the Ground are not a "KVLT" noise act, but on their latest release, the now out-of-print Tropical Delirium cassette, this Oakland duo of Brutal Sound FX alumni Sharkiface and Loachfillet peer beyond the veil of everyday aural perception, and stare into the beating heart of a festering, atmospheric underbelly of ero guro nansensu and post-industrial noisescapes. There are two sides to Tropical Delirium, each clocking in at just under 15 minutes. Side A features three tracks, "Tropical Delirium," "Pulsations of the Feast," and "Darkness Swelters in the Ballroom," and Side B only has one track, 15-minutes of "Smoldering Ashes." Unfortunately, as neither side of the C-30 is marked as A or B, and no audible cue to delineate one track from another (that I could hear in my first three or four listens), I can't really say anything about the tracks individually. However, taken as a whole, Tropical Delirium's four tracks evoke an atmosphere of sensuously delayed and decayed noise decadence that is as unsettling as it is alluring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ettrick, "Feeders of Ravens" (Not Not Fun, 2007)

Ettrick, Feeders of Ravens
Not Not Fun, 2007.

After the scorched earth attack of Sudden Arrythmic Death Vol. 2, the dual sax & drums free-death duo, Ettrick, have emerged to emaciate the maggot infested corpse of harsh jazz noise with their first full-length lp, Feeders of Ravens. Now, if you've no prior experience with Ettrick, let me break it down for you before you go and hurt yourself: bone-grinding double-kick drumming from four sets of feet, pared with face-melting saxophone freakouts that utterly S L A Y Borbetomagus, Vandermark, and Zorn's tired asses and corpse-fuck their fetid remains. With little respect to those previously mentioned, there is little I can liken Ettrick's skin-scalding sax and drums attack to, although Mick Barr's work in Orthrelm and Octis comes to mind. Feeders of Ravens eight tracks of ascetic jazz extremism all seem to be composed of free improvisations, which are each based upon some previously set parameter (say: drums and sax, sax and sax, drums and drums). However, just because it's free doesn't mean their jazz is cheap. It's clearly obvious that the deadly psychic connection shared between Jacob Felix Heule and Jay Korber is the result of relentless practicing, rather than laziness and a lack of skill passed off as avant-garde. That being said, although Ettrick's improvised death jazz is dense and incredibly varied, I find that prolonged listening can be a little overwhelming. I prefer their thunderous assaults and screeching terror when delivered in shorter, sharper bursts of acoustic violence, rather than drawn-out in L'Eng Tche styled torture sessions. Feeders of Ravens is both an incredible debut lp, and a torture garden of grand guignol jazz delights where you're the slave and Ettrick are the masters.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Owl Xounds, "Gypsy Monks On Holiday" C-30 (Curor Recordings, 2007)

Owl Xounds, "Gypsy Monks On Holiday" C-30
Curor Recordings, 2007

For those spirited heads who like their free-jazz fused with a touch of the cosmic, and their feet dipped wet with wide-open infinity, Owl Xounds' exuberant outer-space jams are as awesomely pleasing as they are wildly unpredictable. On "Gypsy Monks On Holiday," the usual Owl Xounds Exploding Galaxy duo of Adam Kriney (drums) and Gene Janas (upright bass) are joined by Mario Rechtern (saxophones, electronics) and Gene Moore (electric guitar). This high-bias tape boasts three sprawling live improvisations from two separate performances. The bombastic and wild-eyed "Sambs Samosa And The Circular Saw" and the brief attack of "We Are But Three Small Faces" were both recorded live at SUNY Purchase , NY on 2/19/7, while the organic mutant jazz "Are Those Your Graham Crackers From The Wiccan Ceremony Last Week?" was cut live one day earlier at the Flywheel in Easthampton, MA on 2/18/7. Mario Rechtern's saxophone threatens a savage mutiny on "Gypsy Monks..," but Adam Kriney is so at the top of this game on this one he's shot straight through Maslow's pyramid of needs and wants and wound up blasting somewhere through a stratosphere of technical wizardry. Keep an eye on Owl Xounds, these space-jazz cadets are headed somewhere brilliant, sparkling, and totally uncharted.

Liz Allbee/Sharon Cheslow/Weasel Walter, "Plants That Kill" (Curor Recordings, 2007)

Liz Allbee/Sharon Cheslow/Weasel Walter, Plants That Kill cd-r
Curor Recordings, 2007

A three-way collaboration between Liz Allbee, Sharon Cheslow, and Weasel Walter, or the sound of a tropical disease as it seeps through your pores, peeling away the last remaining layers of your earthly senses and leaving only a caterpillar filled brain-case behind in Peruvian nightmares? Plants That Kill is a no-wave trip spiraling deeply into endless reverbrations of Ayahuasca dreaming and inspired-by-toxins tropical death-jazz. An electric brew of poisonous improvisations whose exotic variety of tone and colour lure you inwards, just as the venom seizes your nervous system, leaving you frozen in place, sweating to the sounds of an immense Amazon Rainforest totally indifferent to your desperation and impending decomposition. Each of "Plants That Kill"'s ten tracks are named after a particular sample of fatal flora, a concept credited to Liz Allbee. The cd's sleeve art also reflects this concept, with a leafy green aesthetic that is as enticing as it is forbidding. I'm completely blown-away by the music on this disc, as each member of this trio performs in ways I'd never have expected from them, making "Plants That Kill" even more of a toxic treat. I would be in a state of total shock if this cd didn't sell-out soon, but that could just be the green talking.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Polynucleotide Plasma-Press Communication: An Interview with Rubber (() Cement Pt. III

Continued from Parts
One and Two.

Originally, for the 3rd and final part of this interview, my intentions were to gather questions for Rubber (() Cement from various interested parties, to include the audience in on the fun, consequently scribing a 3-D dialogue between the artist, interviewer, and readers. Problem was, no one seemed interested enough to send me a query, and so, I had to come up with some follow-up questions of my own.

Part Three.

Aloha once again Rubber ((), alas, no one seemed that interested in getting this three-dimensional dialog we'd talked about going, other than my girlfriend who wanted to know "if Rubber (() Cement was a good cook, because you look like you'd make a really interesting meal." Read into that what you will...

She sounds like a meat eating machine. The blown out tiblalis glands around the goof boots are dropping chunks of heavy yellow and red meat at every show. Probably she's fixating on that. The world needs sturdier goof boots for the working class Nasa-D javelin carrying grunt.

Hah! Actually, she's a vegetarian! On an unrelated note: how was the mini-tour with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer?

Not much of a tour unfortunately. There were three shows up there and only one with Basket Case Geoff glommed Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. You can listen to the mp3 files online here through the Redglaer site possibly.

We really expected them to be humiliatingly horrible mud dipped swamp blobs, but they are just some really smiley smoker types. The show we did with them at The Silo was two separate assaults mixed with the old Basket Case whip tube guest flail which seemed to survive the move from Detroit.

I read most of your posts you made on the Brutal SFX board during the tour and you mentioned that something broke and cut your set short at The Rebar in Seattle. "Dropping the javelin meant no encore, something broke onstage admidst the clamor, will have to do some damage control. 15 min set." Did things go more smoothly for you afterwards in Portland?

It's a mystery about the Seattle set. Things were running really late anyways with the opening acts indulging the audience. The cords in the bar are so messed up who knows if it was us, or their possibly the stage snake biting itself. Everything after the Rebar was smooth as the head of a skinned one year old. We didn't use the Ratar set up because we thought the name Rebar was close enough to a major brand of Ratar dish. Sounds like a big bar shaped radar dish right? It's not.

What are your thoughts on the growing noise scene in the Pacific Northwest, (Seattle, Eugene, PDX, et al)?

A lot of potential. Portland has always been hot or gold so none of us were surprised what a blowout that was. Honed Bastion and Redglaer have massive piles of sound equipment to make people go into the cigarette area. There are not so many places to play in Eugene, we played at a gallery that had mom hobby art on the wall. A rock club supposedly has an Asian duck running the space somewhere downtown past the Nova dealership.

One good point about the Pacific Northwest that few people realize: when you go through a smaller town anywhere up there a scenario plays out in your head about the chemical smells, the pawn shops, and the people in t-shirts walking like erratic air pummelled chickens here and there. We actually worked up a Pacific Northwest kids tv show called "Mother's Muff Meth Madness". Running it past the Eugene crowd (10 people) seemed like it might appeal to people up there.

Basically you have a group of kids gathering around a matronly lapis lazuli kangaroo pouch with green fuzz around it. Having only a few threaded together eyes it blinks out Morse codes to bring it amphetamines. The kids reach inside it's wabbly wobbly stoma hole to receive fortune cookie clues that will take them to the next palace of kitchen sink solvents. An enemy mescaline soaked galleon with clusters of walrus teeth scrabbles to bring it's "glum o moids" pantry taking over the products under the sink to make more creatures from inside it's own giant marsupial cleft. Being a master of disguise it can play the part of a kitchen pretty well.

Beyond the Brutal SFX community, who do you consider among your contemporaries?

People we've played a million shows with like Wolf Eyes and Nautical Almanac come to mind first. Speculum Fight has been there from the beginning. It's stripped down to less equipment as DamnOnion Romero these days, but the tone remains in the asthenosphere. All of them are brutal sound effects types like most of the acts with electronic sinking dino rectus bubble machines. Would like to consider Fat Worm of Error something of a contemporary if they dropped all traditional instruments. Thats conditional, I know, but it's also a really great vague threat too. Would like to put our pin ups next to SPK's lp "Information Overload Unit", the Esplendor Geometrico first lp, Sebastian Speaks lp, BBC sound effects collections, Culturcide (good advice types), Geer Road tire store (forgot the city), Varèse's "Déserts" lp, P16.D4's "Kühe In 1/2 Trauer", Runzelstirn and Gurglestock, Igor Wakhevitch, 80-88 Non, and a few Pierre Henry lps thrown in. The best ones. Will have to mention at this point about Balloonia, Astro and Violent Onsen Geisha keeping Rubber (() in the cushioned dumpsters when we went to Japan setting up some swell shows and karaoke appointments. Often VOG would hand us delays and distortion boxes that weren't up to par with collector's item pedals he collected. Most of our cords came from him too. He's since cleared out his studio and passed it on to other sound vagabonds since he's won his Yukio Mishima award in 2001.

What are your thoughts on the current generation of noise artists?

Some really blow dog turd popsicles which is not a total crime of laziness. Here's the most honest thought of all: only the wispy legged of the vocal touch me with feathers types and whisper to dream catchers have brought out the total contempt. If someone is making an honest stab at doing the opposite of the cranked out dreck that's on the radio with with their dogshit ice machine bazooka, it's an honorary thing in our cardboard powerbook. Seeing the blooming of Tarantismo from a cord buzz (early shows) into a multifaced torque chop with a cooking show thrown in on top makes any vague idea someone is pushing that dark ice simmer with potential. Seriously, some of these people don't know what they are doing it for, they just feel better after they have a cassette release.

From the standpoint of an elder-alien-statesman, is there any criticism, or advice you have to give them?

Bypass convention. If you've seen it before don't try to play the same domino game along in the same lead-octane filled swimming pool. If you imitate another's set up cuz it will make you look cool then you show your age or ignorance. The elders wait patiently for you to blow us off the map.... It's pretty lame expecting us at Nasa-D to have input and answers though. Probably not a good idea to let this feral half tellurium liquified cat out of the butyl bag but... We are always looking over our shoulder asking questions to other people in the Brutal Sound Effects realm, or better yet the jazzbeaux of the bay area things like "Who is that guy, ya know England...Jonty who? Jonty Harrison, you're right! That guy!" Or "Italian fella, glasses? He used knobs on thing..s.....and.....stuff.., um, Bruno who? Maderna!! Ya, thats the man!" Don't look at us for answers, often have to walk around without shoelaces now days for health reasons. The running with sharp objects ban happened a decade ago.

Earlier, in Part Two of our interview, you mentioned that there might be a new Rubber (() Cement dvd in the works, any idea when this disc might boil to the surface?

The first attempt at this dvd was on a cd rom in '99 which was only sold to RRR and Japanese. The next attempt at motivational marketing was after the Solid City State ONE back in 2001 in a vhs form. It's 2007 now, if you subtract that from 1999 then you might imagine that in another 8 years there will be another one on some other format. Not bluetooth.

Are there any plans to release any of the Famous Room of Battle Monsters performances on dvd?

We aren't, you can write to the curators or to get some response of what you need. The more excited you are about something on the web, the more our video chromatapher Brutallo gets. I'm talking about you Har Har, get your wish list ready for Rwanda Day. There are neuron mummy tubes being stuffed with fireworks for that day.

Haha, yes...I do have a lot of Brutallo's videos bookmarked on my Youtube account. Are there any plans in the future for a rematch against Ecomorti?

Anytime anywhere. She is up in Portland now. This portion of California was getting a little too small for our goof boots and her dried up swamp back hill. R.O.C breaks fecund moss scissors in the giant scheme of mud-based things.

In the past you've released collaborations with Speculum Fight, Truck Van Rental, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Tender Morsels, and most recently on The Haunted Loci lp, with Karla LaVey. Are there currently any future collaborations in the works?

You forgot our strongest ally: James Twig Harper who contributed to most of "Shameful, Effectual, Masterbattalion!!".

Holy shit, you're right! How did I forget about that one?? Arghhhh!

We have an hour of new James Twig Harper sounds to put out. It's just a matter of editing. Sigtryggur was going to be in the U.S. about every month this year, not sure exactly what happened, but if you send him 600 dollars we could do another release we would probably send out your way. Something to think about...

We did a lot of recording with Violent Onsen Geisha when we stayed with him in '98. Live shows also. If someone comes up with the money that lp might see the light of day sometime. Our initial agreement was that it could only be released on vinyl to commemorate the occasion, we signed one of his 3 page agreements written in kanji....and here it sits.

The Karla LaVey Xmass lp should be out within the next 5 years. Might be the Haunted Loci II lp. The first Haunted Loci has to pay for itself before that happens.

The former Cryptic Weevil of Screwgene Oregon sent a source cd a while back we are supposed to dump "60.7 tones of biono-assisted relaxation in type 2 diabetes butyl polyps" on top of his poignant spar coated pettimoat he built. It has the face of a dirt cologned cubist, the body of a Korean War courier pigeon, and the snout of a busted hafnium farm lamb-mover. Our job is to assist with delicate instruments to make it more tone acceptable in the world of modern housing. Should be interesting since we are not architects or even subtle.

$600 to record with Sigtryggur? Much as I'd like to finance that audio adventure, I gotta save up for a new mixer and a PA system, never mind finding a place to live in the coming weeks... Speaking of high cost collaborations...Given the opportunity, who would you most like to collaborate with (living or dead)?

A 1982 P16.D4 would be wonderful to collaborate with. We approached NON a few times out here when he was on Jones street meeting on his way to work. Our contract and ideas were mostly written on the boxes of video tapes (we traded and borrowed a lot) and the back of bus transfers. Not sure if those are out here or in Colorado. I think mostly it was an arrangement to not ever record. There was a Non guitar pick that he ended up with which was a table knife ground down to a sharp obtuse triangle. Wish it would get used on that folky stuff he's doing. Edgard Varèse has a brain that resembles a chewed up leather belt with some raisins snake bodies wringing forked grub tongues on the inside. I think it's about time he get out of his high chrome ionized power-coffin, and contact us through the the cardboardkestra we set up for him. If he did Poème Electronique, should be a drop in the gravity well to make our Nasa-D ensemble work to the tap of his car radio antennae baton sitting in the foreground here at R.O.C. hq.

Wolf Eyes has shown interest in collaborating, but when on tour, or after, they can't even lift up the phone, possibly an impossible ideal. Might be that our direct route of setting up and recording is opposo-daunting to the "order pizza, jam out" style they are in orderly form with.

There is a "Rubber (() Cement Speculum Fight" double 3" cdr out there. I'm sure another one will come out eventually.

It's exhausting pursuing some of these people, we've done what we could without procuring wads of cash or colorful threats. P16.D4 should just quit aging and go backwards as soon as possible before we get too serious with them. It's easier to give up and just talk to Twig, who is basically retired on his commitments to anything, but us, and constant humor experimentation.

Are there are any Rubber (() Cement recordings currently in-production?

Another split Slicing Grandpa 7", split lp with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer and friends, Aryan Asshole release. At least 6 cds (various stages of de/composition) including the long awaited "Face Shuttle Malfalcone". The not so long awaited "Triumph Over Matter: A Ratar Solo". When "Triumph Over Matter:" comes out we might have to put a guitar on the cover to get people to look at it.

When can mega-fans and sound fx addicts expect these to be released?

Take the biggest coin out of your pocket. Pick a number you like in months or years from today like "3-17-2044" now flip that coin. The answer should be right in the middle of your hand. You know now and we don't. So....why don't you tell everyone your dirty secret?

Hey now, my secrets are clean as December snow in Saskatchewan wheat fields! To the curious friendly outsider: what records would you most recommend to gain an appreciation for Rubber (() Cement?

Buy everything available, go to the show, think about it, then repeat the process until you're at the same point in time as the beginning of the process as a dimensional atom tire monitor system, or our state of being becomes an extension of your work-towards-us stature. You're a failure like us now!!

As we bring this Polynucleotide Plasma-Press Communication to a close, is there anything else you'd like to add?

We've wandered in a lot of deserted junkyard territories of our future here except our other movie ideas. You can pick the scientific subject and ask us what our movie will be about (we have 90% of ALL science subjects covered). Also a query over a favorite tactile tire artist- philosopher would be great. There have been so many mop swords in the chaos of mediocrity on the roads of North America for so long no one knows (except us) where to start. We've been following the bloodlines of these high rollers for a while so if you need information just inquire.

I would like to explicitly thank Rubber (() Cement for humoring my curiosity in granting me this rare and unique interview. Sir, your answers have been as entertaining to read as your music is to hear: eyes and ears both peeled back and reeling/radiating from the experience. I can't wait to to hear what you've got in store for my tinnitus-proof lobes in the future!

The photo at the top of this page was posted courtesy of Greedmink. If you actually read all three parts of this micro-epic, you owe it to yourself to go to Brutal Sound FX now and spend some money!


I'm currently typing this emergency broadcast on my girlfriend's macbook. My fucking shitty Dell computer fucking conked out on me this afternoon in the middle of a batch of reviews for Curor Recordings. FUCK YOU DELL!!! EAT MY ASSHOLE WITH YOUR MOTHERFUCKING 1-YEAR WARRANTY YOU CUM-GARGLING WHORES!!! Well...I leave for Victoria to look for a house on Saturday. I'll be gone for a week, and hopefully Lila and I will have someplace to live. To everyone who has sent me something for review, Abandon Ship, Resipiscent, Ettrick, Gowns, Curor, Brutal SFX, Digitalis Industries, et al..I thank you for your patience and hope that my godforsaken Dell won't inconvienience you too much. Thank you so much for your patience. I'll do my best to write on Lila's macbook for now, and I'd like to have the third part of the Rubber (() Cement interview posted tomorrow, but reviews are going to be sporadic here for a couple of weeks until I've finished moving and my cocksucking computer either gets fixed or is thrown in the trash-heap and I come home with something branded Apple.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heavy Hiatus

Well, as of Friday, August 24th 2007, my time in Iqaluit, Nunavut is over. I'll be leaving on a plane for Edmonton, Alberta, stopping there overnight, and then continuing on to Kelowna, B.C., arriving sometime in the early afternoon. To those of you who have sent me goods to review in the past month or so, thank you for your infinite patience!!! Jacob (of Ettrick), M.P. Lockwood, Rubber ((), Teenage Whore Tapes, Curor Recordings, et al. I will get to everything you've sent me as soon as I can. I'm leaving Kelowna Sept 1st on a house-hunting road trip for a week, but starting Monday I'll have a few reviews posted before I leave, including: Ettrick's Feeders of Ravens, some tapes from Curor Recordings, and hopefully by the end of the week I'll have finished writing questions for the 3rd and final part of the monstrously epic Rubber (() Cement interview!

In the meantime, please check out the new-ish review of White Mice's BlassstPHlegMEICE, posted below.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

White Mice, "BLasssTPhlEgMEICE" (Load Records, 2007)

White Mice, BLasssTPhlEgMEICE
Load Records, 2007

Blassst! The White Mice have done it again! After 2005's brutally fun ASSPhiXXXEATATESHUN, I didn't think I had any face left to melt. Well, I was dead WRONG! On
BLasssTPhlEgMEICE, the tortured lab rat Providence, RI power trio of Mouseeattoungue (bass), Euronymouse (drums), and Anonymouse (oscillator + electronics) will eviscerate your ears and leave your mind reeling in the dub noise wastes of utter annihilation. This shit is so grim and raw, only the rodents and roaches will survive BLasssTPhlEgMEICE's thirteen selections of grinding, blackened noise metal.

When compared to other bands on the legendary Load label, I've often felt that the White Mice have gotten the short end of the stick. If you're looking for a scapegoat, blame it on their schtick: costumes and constant mouse-related puns. Musically, there is no good reason why this terrifying trio should be held in any less regard than Air Conditioning, Sightings, Gang Wizard, or even Lightning Bolt. Their cacophonous combination of screeching oscillations, sickening, bowel spilling bass, and bludgeoning double kick drumming has never sounded better than it does on BLasssTPhlEgMEICE. For forty minutes straight the White Mice set your balls on fire and watch as your writhe in pain while they laugh and perform unnecessary surgery on the rest of your body: switching from grinding torture-porn doom grooves to mid-tempo black metal blender noise. The production of this record is a definite improvement over ASSPhiXXXEATATESHUN, a subtle shift I took notice of just before it violently grabbed me by the throat. Their sound is fuller, more pronounced, and every sound shines with an alarming clarity: the blinding flash of a knife's blade before it fatally plunges into your fat belly.

For my money,
BLasssTPhlEgMEICE is the best full-length Load has released this year. The White Mice have a new album due on Blossoming Noise any day now, so you'd better hurry up and bite into BLasssTPhlEgMEICE before this tasty cheese is moldy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Polynucleotide Plasma-Press Communication: an Interview with Rubber (() Cement Pt. I

From my July 26, 2007 review of Rubber (() Cement's "Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd":

For more than a decade, the costumed noise anomaly known as Rubber (() Cement has been the mutant poster child of the San Francisco Bay Area's bizarro music community. In that time, Rubber (() Cement has toured Europe, Japan, and the USA as the Bay Area's freaked-out flagship act, having shared the stage with such acts as: Wolf Eyes, Nautical Almanac, Boredoms, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, Smegma, Speculum Fight, Comets on Fire, Karla LaVey, and many more. What do I actually know about Rubber (() Cement? Not much. Never having seen a Rubber (() Cement performance, "Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover" is my only window into the crazed sonic terrorism this creature cooks up in a live setting. And just what in tarnation is with that seven-foot tall 'Javelin Bass' he beats, smashes against the ground, swings through the air, and somehow amidst all the commotion, plays? Answers are pending.

Well noise lovers, the answers have arrived! Following my review of the Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd, I was contacted by none other than Rubber (() Cement's A-Gene Rackstack, and begin corresponding with him via email. These email exchanges then quickly became the basis for this, The Polynucleotide Plasma-Press Communication: a The Rubber (() Cement Interview in Three Parts!

Part One.

When did the idea for Rubber (() Cement first come into being?

Rubber (() Cement came out of a few shows: one in L.A. with Speculum Fight, and a Japan tour where there was going to be 10 tape releases coming out over there, all at once, with stacks of comics, action figures, trading cards all from the closing of "Comics and Cosmos" who filled up their sales bins with nickle items. Wanting to redistribute this overseas, there was a roadie job opening for some ingrates in a rock band. Building 2/3rds of the prostheses they used I was given a ticket by an overseas label/promoter who wasn't much up for paying more than tickets regardless of the profits after well paying Japanese clubs cashed out (Rudolph Eb.Er will confirm this with his experiences also from the same promoter). Isolation kept the cassette assemblage intricate until the actual shows there in Osaka and Tokyo. There was enough profit from these meager cassette offerings to apply to an LP release. Hoping to work with different people before the Japan flight base tapes were given out. Making agreements with individuals, there would be an end mix with the "special guest" who got a cassette to add their brand o muck to the mix. Covers were printed up, no one came through with the contributions though before the deadline of the take off date. None. Since then the bowel has kept on a rolling down the technological chromo-hill itno the mercury ocean of endless alumino-butyl face welding. Flakes chipped away to a core of faulty keramik iron consistancy, Rubber (() Cement persists.

How long did it take for this concept to gel and coalesce into Rubber (() Cement as it is today?

By 1997 practicing became redundant, pointless, and unhelpful to the live shows which were hampered by improvised "good sound!! plan change NOW" excitement and beer intake. The original pulverized intracellular chromium compartments via recordings started around 1994 with a live show somewhere in there.

Since it’s earliest beginnings, how many people have been involved with Rubber (() Cement (including set-designers, artists, costume engineers, etc)?

Probably around 10 people. Speculum Fight still shows up to the Solid City State for peppered high carbon sunspot sazzling. We sometimes draft an atom robosled who is usually drifting around the world on a "lead me" diet of cheap fibronitrogen, and expensive biliary sludge which lands him out of cell phone range.

Who is currently involved with the band?

It depends on the show if the Speculum Fight or the Multiplet Atomwell Robosled™ will augment our wreckage. Usually it's just the Cimevox 300084 and the Genetic Racstack. The newer (2000) releases have included guests.

To my ears, early Rubber 0 Cement releases seemed to frequently feature heavily editted cut-ups, loops, and studio manipulation techniques. Osmolytes, and the recent release of the Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, and Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd, on the other hand, seem to focus on the unedited, unrestrained antics of A-genetic rackstack. How important is performance to the Rubber (() Cement project, in contrast to the emphasis placed on studio recordings?

Either one should stand on it's fragile neuron thin leg and speak to the world in a code of educational brain-to-kidney graft language. Noticing the live audio from the clubs or the practices (most of Osmolytes is rehearsal) didn't have the amount of substantial interest to hold up for a 60 minute release we made the sounds more of a mix of everything available. Atom splitters to medical bone splitters, Distilled microphones inside colons to heliospheric star burps from wire and battery attached ratar.

The dvd you can see each sound with a movement, It would be wonderful if every release had this capability with holograms popping up over your audio medium player, be it phonograph, cd or cell phone.

I totally agree with you. Rubber (() Cement's music definitely reveals its own myriad bizarre charms in stereo isolation, but watching you thrash about, or the whole Solid City State rumble to life is entirely essential to fully enjoying your band. That being said, can you tell me what instrument(s) and/or gear are used in the spontaneous creation (combustion?) of Rubber 0 Cement's sound?

At a live show we have the Pulse Puzzler®, The Earth Core© Toneton™, The Inner Sunspont Whine-Ohmer™ , Double Ratar® Drives, Spider Hand with Ferro Tack Appendage© , Cimevox 3000,84© , Mass Control Ekranoplanz™, Butyl Y/X Ray Coral Whore Generator®, Nasa-D Javelin Bass®, Hadrons Switch Slab© , and Saudtoothed Linear Collider™. All of these things are pretty nifty and stupor proof.

Has this changed over time?

Older models of our gear has worn out from 1 and a half ton baby feet stomping them. We have honed this finely crafted garbage machine to a great burr of Organic-Keramik dudware.

Is there a difference between the instruments used in the studio and those you employ during live performances?

An actual 1981 computer is used to do most of the editing. Final editing is taken to a more capable person than ourselves (there's a good 50 or so of them around here) who can listen with an undamaged ear and correct horrible editing mistakes.

When did the description "Brutal Sound Effects" first come to surface as it currently applies to much of the music oozing out of the San Francisco Bay Area?

One of the earliest shows was at a place called Klub Kommode probably in 1997, maybe earlier. It's not meant to apply to anything except the mind listening to the sounds though in a different sound cell-file.

While I have no problem with the umbrella description of "noise," many seem to find the term limiting. Personally, I think it's great how simple, open-ended, and all-encompassing that description can be, and I especially love how music that originates from diverse scenes such as Brutal Sound Fx community can fit into "Noise," while co-existing as its own thing. It's when people start attaching things like 'militant' and 'pure' and 'core' at the end of Noise that I start to make a sour face. In conclusion of Part One of our interview: what do you think differentiates Brutal Sound Fx from “noise”, and how is it connected?

Although nobody dislikes the term "noise" that we can think of in this pastel blue deathwag metal mountain scoop we live under, there are still a dozen people that do sound effects for a living that play out. I see them at jazz shows even.

If you lump those engineers with the pedal ogre hybrid to make one single striking memorable mutual souped sound, it will be a brutal sound effect. When people go to these shows they might re-listen to the music as a sound effect rather than a regular noise show. We've tried to give out pamphlets early on with these descriptions to prepare the listener:

Bark-headed tar apes climbing spiked mottled
telephone poles (life size) with 2 fingers,
hand over hand. Grunting pourboire bed coffins
rolling amok. Plasma blood bag legged beings
tugged along in the
cages made up of woven garbage guts. Cinder gobbling
geared fetus turning quark cranks in a
garden of static

charged throat boots.

(there are about 60 other items on this paper)

Continued in Part Two.

The Polynucleotide Plasma Press Communicator: an Interview with Rubber (() Cement Pt. II

Continued from
Part One of our interview.

You mentioned previously that for Rubber (() Cement,"practicing became non-existent by 1997." If this is the case, how do you prepare for a show?

There is no way to prepare for a show soundwise except try to repair any broken equipment. Things were different way back in the 90s.

Is there a site-specific ritual you perform before a show?

It's really important that the dream Nasa-D team shows up to the show. That can be rough because most of the calendars are on the back of receipts or written on dollar bills. Half the work crew have cardboard computers with no glass interface, it's rough, but somehow through the phone system we get to the gig, mostly. The day of the show somebody is there to help out. Most of the time. The last show in Belgium we had some major help from a local sound effects guy Loachfillet who had to wear a medic uniform to do most of the soldering before the show. He held wires together for the wires that weren't soldered by hand.

Do you pre-select equipment that might be of use, and test these combinations before a show?

It would probably be better for everyone (including the patient audience) if things were checked before a show. That only happens when we get a show in southern California where theres a 'focus' time before the doors open. Often traveling with a soldering gun and wires we get by...barely.

Are your performances based mostly on intuitive improvisation, and the assortment of gear you've brought to a show to use as you please, or are they composed (at least in part)?

We try to get the gear we think that works to the show, if it does, then things work out ok. Again sometimes beer can make a mess of things, confusion, unplugging something and forgetting about it. Eventually, with enough warrants, some of that may change.

Can you explain the connection between Rubber (() Cement's visual appearance and its sonic aesthetic?

There's a lot of suspension of belief for this band. We don't have the money to go all out rocket fuel blast off goof boots. Some of that will end up on the next dvd. We don't have the engineering talent that making a fully fledged battle euglena or multi story hydra weapon on a coral slut petri-beach possible.

What were some of your earliest influences, musical or otherwise?

Detroit, broken tailpipes being dragged for miles, later drive shafts. Every monster Japanese mutation movie ever made.

Several of your releases are hand-packaged, tucked inside the pages of comic-books (ex: Issues of DC Comics' “Green Arrow” and Marvel's “The Silver Surfer”) and magazines. What connection does the comic book share with Rubber (() Cement?

When Rubber (() Cement started we cleaned out the Comix and Cosmos dumpster, most of it went to Lincaster Distribution which was going to be a big family of Nasa-D, The Hogwinds Publishing, and Paychee Paychic the owner. The internet came along with goggle search engines and blew most of that empire away. Most of the comic books are still with Paychee who is still talking about a Whitehouse Western and P16.D4 Time Manglers of Münster. We work for him on the west coast once in a while collecting debts from his consignments and he sends us the dreck of his collection. Most of that cache is from our find at Comix and Cosmos. Interesting isnt it?

We are starting our own possible publishing empire with a local Amphibious Gestures and working on a few titles. The comic "Popewaffen Fovea" is about the flying nun's father who was a praying mantis battleplane built by the Russian Orthodose Church through the 40's. Most of it is high powered lamps on hidden nazi camps for bombing strategies of the Ulan Ude motorized livestock.

"ZARATHRUSA: The Nietzsche Superman" - a philosopher to truth n' valor, and willforces type that passes judgement on those who have reached the end of their lives via the deed they have done. When anyone is complacent, not in command, or relaxed, phhhhhhhhzt they die in his court of one. Has skewed laser eye burning rays that encode on the flat surface of cdrs. Orders people to find "Ten truths today!" constantly. When Zarathrusta takes his shirt off though it reveals the bad tattoos he got in college: a black line half finished Def Lepard "Pieromaniac" (sp) lp cover and a lobster tipping a baseball cap, so dumb.

"The Inhuman League" is a group of new wave unsigned musicians in a plastic tube or bubble somewhere in Appalachia. They have most of the problems we do within the Nasa-D community of not having cell phones, and inter community pettiness.

Medulla- Long strands of pink brain tissue crawl all over themselves out of holes in the top of her head in an attempt to "grasp" situations. Her wig comes off very easily, but is velcro'd to the back of her high collar. The leader of the band. Writes all the songs, solves contracts by 'new braille'.

Cloth Bolt- Using shaved sheep he is able to knock holes in the ground by pounding it with his wool reactive voice. Inspired KLISS to get together, but dismisses their music as 'not enough synthesizers' in sine wave hand language. He is tone deaf.

Tritones- 3 armed lizard with human hair that plays large ice and lightning coated oscillators which falls off (its just paper and rubber cement). Most of his body is scaled, and cracks jokes about his perfect pitch and playing scales (his own body).

Rockjaw- spandex wearing dog. Wears possibly the lamest new wave wig in history. Has an affiliation with rocks or rock lps. Not sure. Rockjaw may not even know what the hell is going on. Just a big, badly dressed dog who nods and wags. Crab feet with big ponderous paws add to the problem.

Crystal Meth- Uses the power of draino, nasal spray, mirror men, and chalk to create crappy Wasp synthesizer-window cleaners. She has some problems with everyones inability to escape from the tube or bubble they live in. "Why should we just get information from old cassettes and your Numan lp? Shysters!"

Karnako Taibo- Juggler who can find radio waves doing 'the robot'. Useless.

Other titles not drawn are "Window Mach and Ram Page", "Satellite Salmon", "Houston, We Have Piss Off", "Casa-D Zoom!", The Anatomy Kriller", "Caped Piranha of the Dimension Toccato Nova", "Asstrough Damnation aka Road Rites on Radium Road", "The Myron Kross", "Flourine Beasts of Nitroberg", "Deuce Max in Paneled Flourine Snow City" and "Static Star Saddles from Entropy Omega Gamma-That Spiral."

Why do you release Rubber 0 Cement material packaged in home-made paper cases, or stuffed inside comic books and magazines? Is this purely a matter of budget, or do other concerns of yours affect this choice (ex: aesthetic design, possible influence of Caroliner, or an interest in creative recycling)?

Budget, and they sure get the buyer back to a time when everything is possible, or it looks that way...You read a comic or a magazine in another language and Bam! you're really onto something beyond your brain capabilities. If you're 6 years old maybe, you might, ya know...but....not only can you get this great cd, you can get on the bus with it and read some superstuff. We dont need the extra plastic in there for the jewelcase cover. Unnecessary!!

You performed as part of the first No Fun Fest in 2004. What are your thoughts on the No-Fun Fest today? How does this festival compare with other noise & experimental festivals you’ve been a part of?

We've seen a lot of professional fests around the world with sound, no music involved. The U.S. has a lot of catching up to do with diverting the 7 trillion military budget into the noise (or brutalsfx) community like they do over in the old world or Asia with their experiments in strange sound endeavors. They get the best places with massive amounts of food, professional sound systems etc...but everyone smokes, so it blows dog cookies. You turn out your first pubic hair and boom!!, you have to start smoking overseas.

No Fun might be the best thing that has happened in the U.S. since the two day Firewalk and Decapitation Ceremony Festival (2 days) put on by Rabid God Innoculator in '95 where Violent Onsen Geisha played, Merzbow, Smegma, Rubber (() Cement played a second show ever, Deerhoof was half of Fat Worm of Error lending some very messed up moments maybe a song in there (a cut can be heard on The Clit Stop compilation), Sun City Girls played branches, styrofoam and an African banjo, Daniel Menche, Small Cruel Party, and Climax Golden Twins were among the huge roster. No Fun beats this by an extra day with more food, and endless top name acts mixed in with a few losers who should be replaced with the Metal Machine Music (possibility offered) and B. Parmegiani (or another bigwig from before '85). To top it all off, all in all it is pretty professional. The work of one guy who is really good with his interactions with The Incredible Hulk whom he has communication with via digital mediums. One should have respect for that. I wish it wasn't clear out in the middle of zipville though. That's the worst part. A perfect location would be in the middle of the country with some great electric solar shuttle service, say in Springfield Missouri. Most of our big suggestions get slammed mercilessly, maybe for the better. No Fun is very successful.....thus.

I agree . Despite the occasional questionable line-up choice, Carlos Giffoni seems to be genuinely interested in putting on a noise music festival that surveys as much of the scene as possible, including everyone from yourself to Merzbow to Gastric Female Reflex. I mean, he got the Incapacitants to play this year, which speaks volumes about the level of professionalism at work there. I gotta say though, I was disappointed that even a small portion of your set didn't make it to the dvd, I wasn't at the festival (I was in the arctic, again), but I can imagine that yours was one of the more lively performances.

A dismember from an audience member almost happened. One guy pulled his hand out of the way as the javelin bass slammed into the stage. He had two seconds to react. Feeling only a hunger for more 'finger danger' our new cadet buddy followed us to a few other shows on the east coast recording each episode. It was very memorable as the sound system was beyond anything we'd ever dealt with in Brooklyn, a place notorious for 'ok' sound systems. The reason Rubber (() Cement is not on the dvd is simple. If you associate the live show amongst some top name acts (who made it on the disc) our negative weight would compromise the integrity of a top selling acts on there. Our dvd has sold under 10 so far, we hope to hit 20 by xmas. It would also be shitty to be on the same disc as 'Sweet Ride' which was the most painful thing we've ever had to sit through at an experimental show. The No Fun dvd sold because Rubber ()) Cement is not on it. We will probably be on the dvd 2023 after we are signed to some profile mp4 label one would imagine.

Agreed, Kim Gordon & her Smelly Shit was undoubtedly the lousiest performance on that two-disc set. Speaking of live sets, are you planning to tour anytime soon?

We leave for Portland on Wednesday for a mini tour with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. They have been described as "slowly you sink, your lungs filling with mud." This might be better than the gunpowder 'whack-a-mole' game only we had the will to play.

Sweet! Blue Sabbath & Black Cheer are some great sludge noise. Smooth Assailing has a review of their most recent album on WhatWeDoIsSecret. We’ll have to follow up on the details of that tour in the third part of this interview. In the meantime...What are your thoughts are on the current state of noise, and how the genre has grown and mutated since you first became involved in it?

Less guitars and more computers. More people are connecting & communicating faster without the tape culture bogging things down with the postal system reaping most of the profits on that reel to reel blip in the last 30 years. People are trying to bring it back (perfectly valid on key levels, the sounds on them and if crappy you may record over them) for the purpose of nostalgia (probably), and "not to be buried in cdrs" If you have been doing this cassette culture for over 18 years, the cdr is much more democratically invigorating. You can make them at a fast speed without losing quality. High speed tape duplication loses all the high end and is basic hard boiled poodoo. The advantage of a cassette is still unknown other than they make great master copies for your projects. is doing research on this, and telling us what’s up. Confusion mostly.

People often pump up failing egos or wacky ideas by announcing they are starting a 'cd label'. Locking themselves into this blast off position puts one in league with other cdr moguls and then they might have a back stock of a dozen leftovers a few years later.

Over the past few years, it seems (to me at least) that noise has been getting increasingly more attention from mainstream & ‘indie’ media cannibals than ever before. The amount of commercial and critical success achieved by noise acts such as Wolf Eyes, Lightning Bolt, Hair Police, Yellow Swans, Prurient, among others, and the amount of mainstream press attention being paid to events such as Carlos Giffoni's No-Fun Fest have been steadily growing. What do you think of the prospect of noise becoming, or being appropriated, diluted, dulled, and gentrified by the major-label music industry?

Touring with one of those acts (Wolf Eyes) we would have to mention the lousy southern shows that only a handful of really appreciative people showed up at. Some of the world is ready for something horrible wonderful, and other parts of the world are not. Hunting Lodge, SPK, Esplendor Geometrico and Tonelu Sulliel started out as anti-image, vote death types who were concerned with blasting a newish trail on Musique Concret and Experimental sounds. Several years went by with sales not going to the heights they wished and eventually turned themselves in to baby food for people who spend a lot of time with their hair. Nothing came of it except embarrassment. Generally no one under 30 knows all these old acts and the high arc dive into stupid... or much experimental music, for that matter, unless they have been head boggling themselves for a while. The mistakes of the past will certainly happen with the baby hair food, but some of the more destructive ear canal spike worms will get a metal audience.

Norwegian Black Metal took off after some arguments over t-shirts. How hard is that? Controversy. Is there anyone dumb enough to become the poster child cutie pants of Oslo jail time like Burzum? Nobody wants to take that first babystep with a t-shirt argument and famesuck. Most are into flamewars and eating unhealthy.

To conclude Part Two of our interview, can you gaze into your crystal ball (or the Cimevox 30084 if you’d prefer) and tell me: what is the Future of Noise and the Brutal Sound Fx community?

Admiration from a few people. More pancakes. More associations with sound and visuals that will put 2 and 2 together for sound acceptance. People watch a movie and hear some sounds thinking "yes that scissor in the forehead scene would be followed with slowed molten volcanic barf sounds". There will be more fungus and tank tread shows where the noise playing the instruments will hold absolute terror over the audience if a forward leaning gesture would happen from their position on 'stage'. Steam powered metal creatures push bubble girders into each other while genetic pond scum fry excess limbs around the hot iron rivets. A RNA twisted butyl world emerges.

A giant squid reveals brain abilities somewhere in the Pacific and brings a new form of experimental sound presentation that no one has thought of. Nobody seems to know how to book shows for squids, so we wait.

The Brutal Sound Effects Film has a plot that centers around a few immobile gas mask wasp children who live in a pressure chamber. Magnetic Medusae Tape Head Matrons working for the kids try to interest various locals into starting new alpha wave patterns in the kid brains with innovative sounds. Each local sound tech that shows up creates a different catastrophy/result on an epic scale. It's a big mess by the end of the movie with echo static ghosts eating brick mortar, electrified bug legs warping and drilling holes in and out of the earth, most optic nerves in the northern hemisphere is replaced with sensitive rat tails, and much more. With all luck this will create a need for the zero population growth challenge, somehow, when you watch it.

End of Part Two.

To be continued...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"It's Halloween! It's Halloween!"

Sorry to burst your bubble Shaggs sisters, but actually, it's August... I apologize for getting your hopes up. Bet your mouth was just all flappin' and watering at the thought of tangy taffy candy wasn't it? Well, I'll admit, it was rude of me and a mean trick, but how's about a real treat? From now on, not only can you read my babbling banter here on Heavy Vibes, but you can check out my most recent posts on the sweet-ass Smooth Assailing blog. "Now why would I want to read the same thing twice?" you might ask (heavy on the might). A valid point, to be sure, but in the coming months, you can expect to see some exclusives here on Heavy Vibes that you won't find anywhere else. Like, for example, the upcoming multi-part Rubber 0 Cement interview!!! So keep your eyes peeled back with alligator clips boils and ghouls, 'cuz there's lots more Heavy Vibes content on the brightly burning horizon!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

To Live and Shave in L.A., Les Tricoteuses (Savage Land, 2007)

To Live and Shave in L.A., Les Tricoteuses
Savage Land, 2007

August 14th, 1995. Dared by the head of the now-defunct Audible Hiss label, Ned Hayden, to deliver an entire album in a single day, To Live and Shave in L.A. hurriedly gave birth to An Interview with the Mitchell Brothers: a raw, scathing obscurity which (perhaps prematurely) boasted "genre obsolete and noise passé". Despite its 'best intentions', Mitchell Brothers was "a little rushed," and the originally recorded material would have to wait for more than a decade to pass before receiving the proper post-production treatment it deserved . That said, as a part of TLASILA's canon, with its emphasis placed on a hellish, hyper-sexualized meta narrative, and TLASILA's signature convention-snuffing sonics, An Interview with the Mitchell Brothers began to weave the creative framework which would become fully realized in the pre-reformation swan-song epic, 2002's The Wigmaker in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg. Tom Smith, however, unsatisfied with the unpolished and rough effort, quickly began work on Les Tricoteuses, an album that would reconstruct, remix, and recontextualize An Interview with the Mitchell Brothers into an time-warped, nightmare-dub narrative; shifting the setting from California in the 1970's to the guillotines and gates of the Bastille in 1790's France.

A stunning, semen-soaked example of To Live and Shave in L.A.'s post-reformation aesthetic, delicately regurgitated upon their more youthful, pre-Wigmaker antics, and featuring the classic core lineup of Tom Smith, Rat Bastard, and Ben Wolcott (with additional aid provided by Billy Taylor), Les Tricoteuses' refined dub-noise deconstruction of Mitchell Brothers is not only a dramatic reconciliation between albums, but past incarnations of the group itself. Crafted and skin-grafted from the Mitchell Brothers gutted carcass, Les Tricoteuses presents a series of ten selections that seem as at home with Noon and Eternity's ambient, musique concrète passages as they are with Wigmaker's inferno of cosmic anguish and sexual violence. Here, An Interview with the Mitchell Brothers' narrative and accompanying score are finally given the breadth and space they deserve, as they shock and salaciously oscillate with renewed fervor and rabid foaming mouths. It is impossible to underestimate just how much his work with OHNE has influenced Tom Smith's present post-production efforts, and nowhere is this more evident than in tracks like "Dry Hustle" and latter half of "Bursts Sedate," which find Tom's voice expanding and contracting, filling up gasping and gaping voids across space and time. The performances from Smith's associates are greatly enhanced as well, as Rat Bastard's bass guitar is cut-up and condensed into concentrated bursts of gut-churning riffage, while Ben Wolcott's oscillators shriek and drone appropriately amidst the verbose scenes of heavily amputated narrative and swirling cesspools of fractal electronics looking for love in all the wrong places.

Without spoiling the ending, I'll just say that the plot had me in rapt attention throughout. Les Tricoteuses is the latest chapter in To Live and Shave in L.A.'s ever-expanding canon, and the first of three scheduled releases for the French Savage Land label. Featuring design and cover art by the deliciously infamous Gregory Jacobsen, Les Tricoteuses is more than a casual release of a long-languishing remix project, it's a must-have for longtime TLASILA fans and late-bloomers alike.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Peter B, "Luteus" (2007, Resipiscent)

Peter B, Luteus
Resipiscent, 2007

Instrument builder Peter Blasser is a living legend in the homemade electronics and circuit-bending circles, and with good reason! His design schematics (which he'll apparently trade for floral specimens) are as innovative as the sounds his instruments produce are unpredictable. According to Resipiscent's press release, his "Din Datin Dudero, Tranoe, Ambrazier, and Rollable Synth behave differently depending on who plays them." Did you catch that?! Peter B's instruments don't play differently, they behave differently. Now, I don't mean to imply that any of his hand-crafted gadgets possess some sort of sentience, as fun as that might seem to an active imagination (namely, my own), but the point I mean to make is that these circuits slurp, gobble, chew up and spontaneously spit out some crazy curious soundforms. The result of Peter B going tête-à-tête with his Cocolases, Sidrassi Organs, Shinths ("the first synthesizer designed to be broken!") and who knows what else, is at once willfully self-indulgent, and undeniably whimsical. There is a strong sense of play at work on Luteus, and it's really refreshing to hear something this self-consciously sloppy sound as good as it does, as opposed to the leagues of lazy goons who erroneously assume that it's enough to make a noise without caring how it sounds as it strikes the eardrums.

Luteus features thirteen tracks, three of which were taken from a live set in 2004. Each of these tracks stand out individually due to the album's expressive, high-quality production values, one notable feature of which includes Peter B's great use of space in the recording. Often, Peter B's child-like babbling and lute strumming erupts into all manners of squiggly, blurting tones and sharp squelches and squeals, but the amount of space he gives each unpredictable sound to move within often causes his expanding and contracting oscillations to come across as almost organic. Even more impressive, is that while Peter B's homemade instruments can make a manic, Nautical Almanac-like racket, they can also be put to more traditional use.

There are several lighter moments on Luteus where Peter B shows off his latent indie-pop sensibility, performing actual songs. Many of these sing-songs are short, silly, and pleasant, and within this context, share an interesting dynamic when paired with the carefree dadaist electronics on display throughout Luteus's thirteen tracks. In fact, some of Luteus' more song-like moments are among the album's highlights, my favorite being the minimalist vocal call-and-response of "I'm your owl, what is your mystery?", which is based solely upon minimalist vocal call-and-response. That being said, personally I feel that Peter B is at his best when less focused on simplistic songcraft, and totally absorbed in provoking absurd reactions from his DIY contraptions.

Balancing it's erratic circuit-bent noise bits with a positive and playful execution, Peter B's Luteus is an album that defies easy categorization due to it's carefree mixture of pleasant sing-songs, occasional shards of high-frequency noise, senseless babbling, "crzy ass delusions", and queasy pulsating drones. Luteus comes packaged in a standard jewel-case, with an absolutely essential full-colour booklet that includes several portraits of Peter B's eclectic electro-acoustic instruments. The always reliable Resipiscent has scored once again with Luteus, a cd which freely experiments with form and flavor almost as much as the label that sought fit to release it.

Peter B's "Luteus" can be purchased at the Resipiscent records website. Peter B also performs in the trio Sejayno, whose vinyl release "Sedaity" is available from Shinkoyo, Heresee, Skulls of Heaven, BOC, and Ignivomous.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rubber 0 Cement, "Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover" dvd-r (Brutal Sound Effects, 2007)

Rubber 0 Cement, Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd-r
(Brutal Sound Effects, 2007)

For more than a decade, the costumed noise anomaly known as Rubber 0 Cement has been the mutant poster child of the San Francisco Bay Area's bizarro music community. In that time, Rubber 0 Cement has toured Europe, Japan, and the USA as the Bay Area's freaked-out flagship act, having shared the stage with such acts as: Wolf Eyes, Nautical Almanac, Boredoms, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, Smegma, Speculum Fight, Comets on Fire, Karla LaVey, and many more. What do I actually know about Rubber 0 Cement? Not much. Never having seen a Rubber 0 Cement performance, Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover is my only window into the crazed sonic terrorism this creature cooks up in a live setting. And just what in tarnation is that seven-foot tall 'instrument' he beats, smashes against the ground, swings through the air, and somehow amidst all the commotion, plays? Answers are pending.

Personally, I enjoy the pungent air of mystery (watch out: could be Agent Orange) surrounding Rubber 0 Cement and the Brutal Sound Effects community at large, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Theory of Obscurity once beheld by another notable Bay Area act, The Residents. Besides, in this hyper-modern era of ultra passivity via high-speed multi-media supersaturation, I savor the challenge of having to actively seek out, and possibly personally contact artists to gain even the slightest shred of information or copy of their work, as opposed to just passively filling up my basket and learning everything I never needed to know about (insert obscure artist here) on In any case, what I do know is that Rubber 0 Cement churns out, spits on, and bleeds some of the most weirdly addictive electronic noise to ever blURP, squiggle, and SCREECH within range of my cartilage sound-catchers.

Initially, it seemed to appear as if Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover was the most professionally packaged thing I'd ever received from the Brutal Sound Effects label. Most, if not all of their releases have come to me ornately wrapped in what looks like physics homework, plastered with hand-made art, and tightly tucked within magazines or comic books, whereas this dvd seemed pretty normal. At least, until I opened the package to discover on the inside cover that the dvd case had been recycled from a Wicked Pictures porno, which was just as cool finding my copy of 'Melancholy Petri Muse Si-Si-Si' stuck inside a Green Arrow comic. Seeing that reconstituted corporate dvd case made my day before I even popped the disc into my dvd player, so kudos to Rubber 0 Cement for yet another example of creative recycling! Bubbling over with anticipation, my excitement level peaked when I discovered, sandwiched in between a Brutal Sound Effects festival flyer, a pair of *Gasp cardboard 3-D glasses tucked within the inside cover. A Rubber 0 Cement dvd in 3-D! I'd say "sign me up!", but I already bought the thing! Before even viewing a split-second of the total visual meltdown to cum, I knew that Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover really was, as Brutal Sound Effects described it, "the best noise deal out t/here (sic) right now!!"

The disc's menu, like every piece art adorning a hand-packaged Rubber 0 Cement release, is a Bonnie Banks (correct me if I'm wrong) drawn barrage of inscrutable graphics and brazen colour: bio-mechanical Cthuluoid horrors infecting amplifier deities, electronic bat-skull brains, pulsating organ detritus, all emblazoned in brain-frying neon. As soon as the title menu appeared before me, a sharp screech of burning lazer ecstasy had me scrambling for the remote as my eyes vainly attempted to make some sense out of the menu. There are no titles to speak of, save for the trademark Rubber 0 Cement logo flickering on the top of the screen, and three numbered circles along the bottom. Clicking on the 0 (or, the tire graphic) in between Rubber Cement plays the entire dvd in full, and after viewing the entire disc, I realized that the three numbered circles on the title menu divide up the disc into its three major arcs. Digging deep into the discs many multi-tiered menus reveals plenty of awesome eyesore secrets to be discovered by the intrepid viewer; one of my favorites being the menu screen that allows you to select several clips set to loop indefinitely for "insta-insanity."

Rubber 0 Cement's Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover features 22 chapters of 3-D monster madness, obtained from live performances "and scenarios" reaching as far back as 1999. While I wasn't checking my watch, I figure that this baby is loaded with well over an hour of Nasa-D face-melting noise. It's 0bvious that Rubber 0 Cement and those wonderful mutants at Brutal Sound Effects put a lot of effort and care into making this an absolute must-have for even the casual noise fan's dvd collection.
Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover is a radioactive treasure, and easily ranks as my favorite Rubber 0 Cement release yet.